Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tom Stoppard

on his recent visit to see underground theater in Belarus, at the Guardian:

A young man put in: 'I had 10 friends at school. Now only three are alive. The rest died from overdoses. Should I not write about it?' Later he said: 'I am listening to you, and I feel there is a vast gulf between us. My mother is 51. My father is 52. They have never been abroad and probably never will. They live on 100 dollars a month. Everything they earn goes towards food. They don't go to the theatre or cinema. They have worked all their lives only to feed themselves and us children. I wanted to describe their life. When my mother read my play she told me she didn't like it, because she has enough darkness in her life. But I wanted to show her how bad her life was.'

My take on this doesn't play well in Belarus: 'Theatre is firstly a recreation, it doesn't score points for subject matter, for intention. If you write about your mother, you better be good. Isn't that the point?'

Not really.

1 comment:

  1. If you want a look at some Belarusian theatre yourself, the leading touring theatre company of Belarus is going to be performing in Brooklyn on October 19: